Ultimate Packing List for Southeast Asia


Southeast Asia is one of the most popular regions in the world for travelling; being so diverse in cultures, history, having amazing cuisines and a delightfully warm climate.
Best of all, it is pretty easy to travel around at a low-cost, making it accessible for all types of budgets.

I've had a continuing love affair ever since my first visit four years ago, and I've been lucky enough to visit four times so far, travelling to Thailand, Indonesia twice and to Vietnam.

In two weeks I'll be off on my next adventure to Southeast Asia where I'll be travelling to six different countries (the majority of it solo) over two months.
Naturally, packing has been on my mind and I think for my fifth time there I've finally got it down pat!


I'm one of the few people that actually loves packing - it gets me extra pumped for my upcoming trip. Whether you are travelling with a suitcase or a backpack, the same list generally applies and either way it is always best to travel as light as you can with only the things you will need and actually use.
I've had to train myself not to bring too many clothes (guilty habit) and over the years I have learned what I can easily pick up along the way.

Here is my Ultimate Packing List, with everything I should need for eight weeks away:


Clothing

4 T-shirts – Three casual and one for sleeping in. I usually buy T-shirts at each new place I go to so I don't like to bring too many with me.

1 nicer top – For going out to the very occasional nice restaurant for dinner where t-shirts and singlets aren't quite acceptable.

4 singlets – Perfect for hot days around the likes of Bali, Bangkok and beach areas.

2 dresses – Same as above (beachy dresses). Also can be used for evenings with a light cardy.

4 pairs of shorts – My favourite pair of jean shorts, one pair of board shorts for the beach, gym shorts and one for sleeping in.

1 pair of jeans – Not so much for hotter areas but I will be wearing them there and back on the plane as I'm always really cold and for possible cooler evenings in the north.

1 sweatshirt – For the same reasons as above.

2 light cardigans – One casual black cardy that goes with everything and one nicer one for evenings out.

3 bikinis – I'm going to be spending a fair bit of time at the beach and I'm mostly staying somewhere with a pool, so I think three is necessary.

3 bras – Two normal and one sports bra.

8 pairs of underwear

4 pairs of socks

1 sarong – Useful for the beach/pool and covering up at temples.



Shoes

1 pair of jandals

1 pair of sandals

1 pair of running shoes

1 pair of converse


Toiletries and Medical Items

You can pick things up that you need such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste and almost anything else in Southeast Asia very cheaply, so I always pack travel-sized toiletries when I can.

Mini shampoo and conditioner

Mini facewash

Deodorant

Toothbrush, small toothpaste, floss

Mini soap/shower gel

Hand sanitizer – An essential always in my day bag.

Moisturiser – I go for one with a high SPF.

Sunblock – A small bottle, again high in SPF.

Small night cream

Chapstick

Makeup – Just the bare minimum as it's really hot and humid in most parts of Southeast Asia and you’re likely to sweat it off!

Face wipes – Super refreshing if needed and to help remove any makeup.

Feminine products

Insect Repellent

Small comb and hair ties

Prescription medications – Including antibiotics.

Shaver

Basic first aid items – Plasters, panadol, antiseptic cream, safety pins, small scissors, Immodium, cold medicine.

Tissues – Many public bathrooms don't provide toilet paper so always carry a pack with you!

Multivitamins

Antimalarial medicine – Talk to your doctor ahead of time if you might need it, as well as any vaccines.




Electronics

As a travel blogger and vlogger that will be working from there, I have a few essential electronics to bring with me. If you are just visiting for a holiday these are totally optional. You may just want to bring your phone, a small camera and maybe an IPad/tablet.

Cellphone

Laptop

Hard drive

Headphones

Camera 

GoPro

Memory cards and extra batteries

Portable phone charger

Mini tripod

USB stick

Any required cables/chargers

(You can find what particular camera gear and electronics I use in my Shop section).




Travel Essentials

Passport – Make sure it’s valid for at least 6 months past the end of your trip.

Money – It's always handy to have some local currency upon arrival but you could always get this at the airport. It's a good idea to travel with a backup ATM and credit card, kept separately from your main wallet.

Travel insurance – Essential! I use the 1Cover comprehensive plan.

Passport-sized photos – For any required visas.

Copies of travel documents: Booking confirmations (some have a tendency to get 'lost'), travel insurance, passport, visas.

Plug adapters – if you don't already have one you can pick one up there.




Accessories 

Sunglasses

Basic jewellery – Just a few pieces that I wouldn't care if they were lost. It's usually just one pair of earrings, one necklace and some bracelets to layer.

A light scarf – I like to have this for the plane and it can also dress up an outfit for a night out.

Backpack and day bag –  My backpack is my carry on bag which will have my laptop in it. I can also use this for longer day trips. My everyday bag is a smaller satchel type purse that can cross over my body and fit everything I need in.

Hat – It's so easy to burn when you're out in the sun all day!




Extra stuff!

Earplugs and eye mask – I'm a very light sleeper so these are essential for me.

Book – One of my favourite things to do is to read a book by the pool or beach.

Refillable drink bottle

Small umbrella – Handy to have if there's a random downpour.

Washing powder – For washing clothes in the sink as needed.

Lock or two – Useful to lock your valuables when out and about for the day.

Notebook and pens – I love to journal my days and jot down thoughts and plans.

Canvas bag – Great as a pool/beach bag or to take out when shopping.


Note - I am mostly staying at Airbnbs and hotels, but if you are going backpacking and staying in hostels/guesthouses then I'd suggest also packing a sleeping bag liner and a pillowcase.

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That's everything in my Ultimate Packing List for Southeast Asia! Do you have anything else you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments below, I'd love to read them.

If you would like to check out some of my favourite travel gear, essentials and wanderlust inspiration items, check out my shop section!

I also recently filmed a chatty video for YouTube of everything I'm packing for this trip.
Feel free to give it a watch if interested.



Happy Travels,

The Benefits of Backpacking


There are some really great benefits of backpacking, which is why so many people do it every year. It's a great experience to have at least once in your lifetime. To be able to wander freely with no rigid plan and do as you please every day is a priceless and fun way to discover a new place.
If you’re thinking of making the trip, but need that final push- here are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to give backpacking a go:


You Meet The Best People

A lot of the time when you go backpacking you tend to stay in places that you might not otherwise have entertained, like hostels with huge rooms that you’ll be sharing with people you’ve never met before.
This might seem like an intimidating prospect if you’ve never done it before, but the truth is- you’re going to have the time of your life.
I have made the best of friends on my solo travel adventures. My only advice is if you're a female and not comfortable with sharing a room with the opposite sex, then book a hostel that has female-only dorms.
The best thing about backpackers’ hostels is that everyone is there for the same reason – because they love travelling and seeing the world, and because they’re looking for a little adventure, just like you.
If you want to, you can still spend most of your time by yourself, just you and your guidebook, but if you’re looking for some people to go exploring or partying with, then other backpackers will be the ideal companions. It's such a great opportunity to connect with people through all walks of life from all over the globe.




It Encourages You To Be Independent

There’s no better way to learn real independence than by travelling by yourself. If you’re young, you might not have been away from home much by yourself before, so going backpacking will help you figure out that you can sort out everything by yourself, and that you know how to spend time alone without feeling as though you’re about to get eaten alive by your own thoughts.
If you're going travelling- chances are you’ve worked hard to save money, you’ve checked out sites like thebackpackerlifestyle.com to figure out what exactly you’re going to need, and you’ve realised that actually- you can do anything you want to.
It's a wonderful and very freeing feeling and really helps you to grow more confident. Travelling solo through Europe certainly helped me to become a more confident person. You learn so much on the road by yourself and you grow stronger. There are bad times as well as the good but it's all experience and afterwards I felt that no matter what life threw at me I could deal with it. If you go in with a positive attitude and mindset then those little things that do go wrong won't bother you.




The Costs Are Low

One of the best things about backpacking is that- especially if you go by yourself, it’s easy to keep your costs down. If you’ve never learned to budget before, then now is absolutely the time to start. Make sure that you don’t go over the amount of money that you assign yourself for each week – ending up in financial dire straits is not the best way to spend your awesome backpacking trip.
Although you should be aware of how much you’re spending, you should also make sure that you aren’t too stingy – you should fully experience the places that you go to and treat yourself to some great meals and sightseeing trips. Not wanting to fork out the money to go whale watching or something else equally cool is the sort of thing you’ll regret for the rest of your life.
But overall while you are backpacking you can get cheap accommodation, if you eat locally then food and drink costs will be low, and transportation costs are low if you make the most of local public methods like buses and trains to hop from place to place.
Depending on where you travel to is also a big factor. Places like South-East Asia and Eastern Europe are a haven for budget travellers as you can literally live comfortably on $20-$40 a day.




You Can Choose What You Do

Another excellent benefit of backpacking is that you can decide exactly what you want to do. You have the freedom to choose where you want to travel to, whether it's hopping around Europe, stomping through cities, soaking up history and culture or spending days on a beach in Thailand. Although it’s important to have some sort of a plan (you don’t want to run out of money before you’ve paid for your flights home!) you can afford to be flexible and see where each day takes you, instead of assigning each day a number of activities like you might if you were going on a regular holiday.
Going backpacking gives you the time you need to really explore the rest of the world – it’ll broaden your horizons and you’ll return home at the end of the trip feeling brighter and more inspired. That, my friends, is what it's all about.




You Will Learn Something

This is a solid guarantee and the first reason to get out and see the world. You will learn something that you never knew before, and whether it’s something about yourself or the outside world, backpacking is an opportunity to soak up stuff that you would never find by just sitting at home.
You might discover that you have a gift for reading maps and signposts in German or that your new favourite food is a bowl of Vietnamese noodles- whatever it is, it’s worth the trip.


If you need one more benefit from backpacking it’s this- it’s fun. Even the parts you don’t enjoy at the time, waiting around for that bus, a rude receptionist, the rip-off bar – that’s all going to be part of the laughs when you get back home and tell everyone about it.
Just enjoy the journey!

Have you ever been backpacking or are you wanting to in the very near future?

Happy Travels,
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*This post contains affiliate links and images that are not my own.

Travelling on a Budget Tips


Travelling can be rather expensive - with long haul flights, visa costs and accommodation being just the beginning. There is such an enormous variety of places to go and so many things to see - it’s natural to think you might need to take out a second mortgage to get it done in a way that truly does it justice.
Travelling on a budget, however, is easier than you might expect - so many people are doing it and you don't have to be a young backpacker to do it yourself.
Here are a few of my top tips for anyone travelling even on the tightest of budgets.

Transport

Overland travel in particular, is quite affordable with inexpensive buses, train tickets as well as other means of cheap transport such as car sharing.
There are plenty of low-cost airlines out there as well - you just need to know where to look!

A good place to start that I love to use is the website www.rome2rio.com.
This compares the costs of multiple airlines, bus, ferry, car and train companies to help find you the most affordable route.
If you're wondering how to get from point X to point Z for example - you can easily find out through this website.

Below I've put together a list of cheap transport options that could come in handy and might save you money while travelling:


Budget flight sites:


This search site is similar to Rome2Rio but focuses on flights and enables users to find the least expensive flights to any destination in Europe.


Similar to above, this search engine helps find and compare flight prices and find the cheapest flights for any destination in the world.


Another search engine to help find the most inexpensive flights around the world.

If you are flying in Europe don't forget your etias.com documents.


Budget bus lines:


Eurolines is an affordable long distance bus company covering Europe and Morocco.


This bus company operates mainly in the UK and USA, with some buses operating through mainland Europe.


This is a German bus company with very affordable fares operating through mainland Europe.


This is Poland's low-cost bus service with routes into Germany, Slovakia and Czech Republic.


International routes connecting major cities including Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, London, Berlin, Bonn, Moscow and many more.


Best train search site:


This site has the most up to date and best routes for train travel, with fare prices and time of travel within most countries in the world.


Ride Shares:


The largest and most trusted carpooling site in Europe- it connects drivers who are travelling through Europe with people looking for a ride. Fuel costs for the journey are shared.


Trip hopping searches not only ride share sites but also buses, trains and planes.
You can post a request to see who is offering a ride.



Budget Accommodation

There are many budget accommodation options out there from hostels to couchsurfing. Here are a few good websites to find the best prices depending on where you'd like to stay:


If you don't mind sharing a room with other people this website is the best to find what you're looking for and compare prices.


Couchsurfing allows you to meet some amazing locals and staying with them is free! Sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to get a room, but sometimes you’ll literally be on the couch.


This is my personal favourite option - as I prefer to stay somewhere with my own room!
You can search for rooms available and filter by your price range, specific requirements (eg. laundry, wifi) and in the area you would like to stay.
If you've never tried it before and would like to, sign up by using my code following this link here and get $50 AUD off your first stay.

Hotels

You can still find hotel rooms pretty cheap sometimes. Some good places to filter from the cheapest rooms available first include:



www.agoda.com



Now that we've covered the basics - here are a few more quick tips to keep those travelling costs down!

Choose lower-cost places

If you wish to take a trip somewhere for a decent amount of time and not spent all of your money in the first couple of weeks - choose destinations known to be more budget-friendly.
South-East Asia is one of the most popular regions to travel to in the world for a reason.
You have the ability to stay somewhere fairly decent and eat and drink well even on the lowest of budgets. Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia are the ones I've travelled through so far and can vouch for.
Same goes for travelling through Eastern Europe. Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic were all very inexpensive and perfect places for travellers on a budget. These are just places from my own experience - I'm sure there are many more around the world, such as South America for example.


Go for the free attractions

Of course plan for those few special things you want to do that cost, but there are loads of attractions in every city that are still amazing that won't cost you a thing!
Many museums and galleries are free, there are beautiful parks and all sorts for nothing.
One of my favourite things to do in a new city is to go on a free walking tour.

Free Walking Tours

There are two great companies I know of that I will always choose to go for:

Next City Tours- I have done their walking tours in Prague and Barcelona.

Sandemans - I have done their walking tours in London, Dublin and Berlin.

Both are excellent and a great way to be introduced to a city. You get taken around by foot to a lot of the main highlights and attractions and the guides are always very friendly, helpful and full of interesting historical facts and stories.

Do some research before you go, I'm sure many travel blogs out there will be able to share free or very cheap things to do in each specific place.
If you’re a student, teacher, or under age 26 you can sign up for discounts and save a lot that way. When I travelled through Europe I got into loads of attractions (such as the Acropolis in Athens) for free just by showing my student ID card.

Live like a local

Even the cheapest of countries can still be expensive if you live like a tourist. 
Restaurants, resorts and tour companies are out there to take advantage of you and your money and will take any opportunity to hike up the price.
Living like a local will save you a tonne of money as well as allowing you to truly experience the country as well.
You can do this by eating where the locals eat and ordering off a non-English menu.
Find out where the locals drink their beer - it's usually a heck of a lot cheaper!
Stay somewhere on the outskirts of those big tourist attractions where the locals live.
This is where you'll find many of their local places, supermarkets, shopping and fresh food markets and so on.


Cook your own meals

Whenever you are able to - cook your own meals. Be sure to of course try the local food and eat out occasionally, but make the most of cooking for yourself which will save you a lot of money. Consider going for the street food, rather than sit down restaurant meals - eat like the locals! Buying your lunches from a supermarket or local bakery too is a very budget friendly option.


Work while you're there

Depending on how long you are travelling for, you might be able to find work to help supplement your trip. It's usually fairly easy to find casual jobs working as a bar worker, hostel worker, tour guide, Au pair, waiter/waitress and so on, as long as you speak the language and are willing!


You don’t need a tonne of money to be able to travel. You just need to make it a priority. 
Do your research, keep an eye out for deals, travel cheaply and enjoy!
Stop making excuses and turn that travel dream into a reality!



I hope you found these tips helpful. Let me know if you have any questions or budget travel tips of your own to add.

Thanks for reading,

Pin it! :)

*This post is a collaboration and contains images that are not my own.

Krakow on a Budget | Travel Guide




Continuing on in my budget travel guide series, (so far I have done Berlin and Barcelona), it is now my pleasure to write about Krakow.
This beautiful city in southern Poland truly surprised me and quickly became one of my top five favourite cities in Europe.
With a very sad history and war-torn past, the city has undergone many changes to become what it has today- which is an absolute gem, brimming with Polish culture, rich history, charming architecture and a thriving cafe, restaurant and bar scene.

Krakow remains one of Europe’s best value destinations, making it very popular for budget travellers. Many of the attractions are free and Poland offers travellers good value when considering accommodation, food and transport costs compared to most other European countries.
It is such a delight to explore and very easy to enjoy even on the tightest of budgets.
Without further ado, here is my ultimate travel guide with top money-saving tips for getting the most out of your visit to Krakow.



TRANSPORT

From the airport:

If you fly into Krakow the most affordable way to get from the airport is to take the bus.
There are two that run during the day and one during the night that have a good connection between the airport and the train station in the city centre.
It takes 30-40 minutes to get to the train station and costs 4 zl / 1 € (it’s 89 zl /€ 22 if you go by taxi).
Tip: Try to have exact coins to pay the fare on the bus.
Here is the link for the timetables and further info: krakowairport.pl.

There is also the option to take the train which is slightly more expensive but more convenient than taking a bus. A one-way ticket costs 8 zl / 2 €, a return ticket- 14 zl and trains typically leave every 30 minutes. More information can be found here: krakow-info.com/train2Krakow-airport.

By bus:

Polski bus is an affordable and reputable Polish bus company with routes throughout the country as well as into neighbouring countries, with services to Berlin, Prague and Bratislava. The earlier you book the cheaper the fares are.
I took the Polski bus from Krakow to Prague, via Wroclaw and it was a very comfortable journey. It has free wifi, power outlets, air conditioning and the drivers speak English.
I paid around 80 zl /€ 20 which isn't bad for an 8-hour journey!
Here is their website for more details: polskibus.com/en.
A second bus line that I used often whilst I lived in Germany was Flix Bus/ Meinfern Bus. It's an excellent German bus company with connections all over Europe including connections from Krakow to Berlin and Prague and many more.
Their website is: meinfernbus.de/en.
I had arrived from Budapest, Hungary so I used a different but still good and cheap bus line- orangeways.com/en.


Around the city:

Krakow is very easy and best to walk around by foot. However, if you want to explore places outside of the old centre like Schindler’s factory then Krakow has a great bike plan.
All around the city you can find docking stations where you can pick up your bike and return it at any other docking station around town.
You can register and pay with a credit card at any docking station where you can find the information in English.
An overview of the costs to use a bike:

Minimum balance = 10 zl (€ 2,50)
0-20 minutes: FREE
21-60 minutes: 2 zl (€ 0,50)
60-120 minutes: 3 zl (€ 0,75)
Every hour after that: 4 zl (€ 1)
Maximum rental period: 12 hours

As you can see it's a very affordable way to get around the city. There are trams but I found them a little confusing as the site is mostly in Polish. Here is the website if you want to check that out: mpk.krakow.pl/en.
I took the tram only once and mostly walked everywhere.
The Polish girl I was staying with tipped me that the taxis are very cheap so when it sadly came time to leave I took a taxi to get from my accommodation to the bus station as it was very early in the morning- and it only cost a couple of Euros so it was very convenient.


ACCOMMODATION

The number of hostels in Krakow is growing rapidly and they are a great budget-friendly option to stay in very central locations in the city. Most include breakfast and free wifi.
Shared dorm rooms typically start from 36 zl / 9 €.
Here are four hostels I've heard are good depending on what kind of atmosphere you are looking for:
Mosquito Hostel is the number one hostel on Trip Advisor. It is known for its friendly staff, comfortable rooms, great central location and free extras including laundry.
Let’s Rock is a party hostel in a very central location. It offers nightly activities before they head out into the city to party.
Good Bye Lenin hostel is located in the Jewish Quarter. When you enter their garden it has an immediate backpackers feel to it, with people chatting, eating and preparing a BBQ. 
Mundo Hostel is a good place to stay if you’re looking for a comfortable place to relax after a day in the city with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The view from the loft I stayed in

I used AirBnB which I was extremely happy with. I stayed in a modern loft in the Jewish Quarter, only 10 minutes walk from the Market Square. I chose a place with excellent reviews and a decent price and I had a lovely stay.
I used AirBnB a lot for my solo travels as I personally would rather have my own room than staying in a mixed hostel.
Of course, there are plenty of reasonably priced hotels, it all depends on your travel style and budget.


FREE THINGS TO SEE & DO

Medieval Market Square

The main square of the Old Town in Krakow dates back to the 13th Century and at 40,000 square metres it's known as the largest medieval town square in Europe.
It's surrounded by historic townhouses and churches, in the centre is Cloth Hall- rebuilt in 1555 in Rennaisance style, and rising above the square are the gothic towers of St Mary's Basilica.
The Market Square is great for people watching, it's colourful and lively year round where you can find florist stalls, gift shops, restaurants, beer gardens, (even a Hard Rock Cafe) and horse-drawn carriages.
I was surprised to find that even though it is full of tourists the restaurants are still reasonably priced and I enjoyed a frozen margarita and a plate of pierogis with a fabulous view of St Mary's.



Standing in the Market Square with St Mary's in the background.

Wawel Castle

Krakow offers free entry to popular attractions on certain days. Wawel Castle is free on Mondays (April to October) or free on Sundays (Nov to March).
This is a royal castle built for The Great King Casimir the 3rd who reigned from 1333-1370.
As the political and cultural heart of Poland in the 16th century, Wawel Castle is a potent symbol of national identity. It's now a museum containing five different sections including Crown Treasury and Armoury, State Rooms, Exhibits and Royal Private Apartments.



Stroll the Jewish Quarter

Up until the mid 16th century, there was no other place in the Jewish world more significant than Kazimierz. Even today Jews from all over the world travel here to find roots of their spirituality.
By the end of the 1930s the Jewish community of Krakow was 25% of the cities population, but it was almost totally destroyed during the Second World War.
After years of communism, where culture was suppressed and silenced, it was here where a cultural outburst took place.
Today Kazimierz has new life and you can stroll through the Jewish Quarter, see the ghetto, significant symbols, memorials and discover the rich history, culture and traditions of Polish Jews.



Rynek Underground Museum

Below the Cloth Hall in Medieval Market Square lies the Rynek Underground Museum, which has free entry on Tuesdays (except for the first Tuesday of the month).
This fascinating attraction is an underground route through medieval market stalls and other long-forgotten chambers. The 'Middle Ages meets 21st-century' experience is enhanced by holograms and audiovisual wizardry.



Schindler's Factory Museum

Oskar Schindler's Factory has been turned into a modern historical museum of World War Two. Entry is free on Mondays (except the first Monday of the month).
The museum is devoted to the wartime experiences in Krakow under the five-year Nazi occupation during WW2. The exhibitions combine period artefacts, photos and documents with multimedia and set-piece arrangements in an attempt to create a full-immersion experience.



Admire the architecture

The architecture of Krakow is simply stunning. Going for walks are made even more enjoyable as in every direction is a feast for your eyes full of beautiful and historical buildings.






ATTRACTIONS WORTH THE MONEY

'Free' walking tours

Freewalkingtours.com offer many excellent tours in Krakow including free and paid upfront. The free tours include: Old Town Krakow, Jewish Krakow, Macabre Krakow and Street Art.
I did the first two tours as well as a paid Foods of Krakow tour which I will go into more detail in my food and drink section further below.
Walking tours are a great way to get introduced to a new city as well as learning a lot about the history and all the highlights it has to offer. The guides are always super friendly and helpful if you have any questions.
You are expected to give a small tip at the end for what you think their time was worth but it's whatever you can manage, which makes the usually 2.5-hour tours still extremely cheap and well worth it for what you get out of it.

A snapshot of the Ghetto Memorial which we pased through on the Jewish Krakow walking tour

St Mary's Basilica

I didn't enter St Mary's myself (just admired it from the outside), but if you wish to go in one of Europe's top sacred churches it costs only 10 zl / 2,2 € or 15 zl to go up the tower as well.
The striking gothic brick church was first built in the 1220s and rebuilt again after the Tartar raids destroyed it in the 1300s.
The stained glass windows are known to be magnificent and the highlight of the interior is the 15th-century wooden altarpiece carved by the master carver Wit Stwosz, which incorporates more than 200 carved and painted figures.
Tip: If you are near St Mary's near a new hour, on the left-hand side of the building around the corner look up. Once every hour on the hour the lone trumpeter in the high tower stands at the window and plays a song on his bugle.



Auschwitz day trip

I'm sure the majority of tourists who come to Krakow will want to visit Auschwitz at least once in their lives- the largest of the Nazi concentration and death camps.
The now UNESCO World Heritage Site is the site of the gravest mass murder in the history of humanity, which now remains as a memorial. It's a very haunting but important reminder for us all.
You can now only visit Auschwitz by a group tour and it's important to pre-book.
Every hostel or tour agency offers tours to Auschwitz and Birkenau, or you can easily book online. I did the Escape2Poland Auschwitz & Birkenau full day tour and I would recommend it.
I researched on Trip Advisor what the best-reviewed tours were as well as for the best price.
We were taken in a small group in a comfortable van and there was plenty of time in both places to walk through and get the feel, and the guide was very well-spoken and knowledgeable. 
It cost 25 Euros including a pickup and drop off near my accommodation. 
It is one hour drive away and as a tip I would recommend bringing food and drink with you as there are very limited options.







Wieliczka Salt Mines

The Salt Mines is one of the largest attractions in Poland. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and located in the town of Wieliczka, which lies within the Krakow metropolitan area.
It's visited by over one million visitors every year including the likes of JRR Tolkien, the royal family and Benedict Cumberbatch (as I happily found out on the guided tour!).
It's famous for its deep salt mine which is an eerie world of pits and chambers, and everything within its depths has been carved by hand from salt blocks.
The mine has a labyrinth of tunnels, about 300 km over nine levels, the deepest being 327 metres underground.
A section of the mine- 22 chambers connected by galleries, from 64m to 135m below ground is open to the public by a guided tour and it’s an incredible and highly fascinating trip.
Visitors are guided in groups and the tour takes two and a half hours. You walk about 2 km through the mine, so wear comfortable shoes.
Entry costs 84 zl / 19 € for an adult.
Here is their wedsite for more information: wieliczka-saltmine.com.
I decided I wanted to go last minute- the night before, so I booked a private tour with krakowdirect.com as it is half an hour's drive away, so I though a tour including pick up and drop off was a lot more convenient. I paid 130 zl / 29 € for the 3.5-hour tour and I was more than happy with that, their service was great and I would highly recommend the company.

Tip: If you wish to visit both Auschwitz and the Salt Mines there are plenty of companies that offer both over two days at a discounted rate.




Extra Tip: Don’t pay for a city tour

When you walk around Krakow you’ll see plenty of golf carts racing around with typical tourists in them. But Krakow is small enough to explore by foot and it gives you the opportunities to find those magical alleyways and small cafes in the inner courtyards of the buildings. So save yourself the money and experience more of the city.
Do the free walking tours instead if you wish to be shown around otherwise do it yourself and save the money!


FOOD & DRINK

On to one of my favourite topics! The food and drink in Krakow is fantastic and so inexpensive.
Starting with the drinks: the tap water is clean and safe to drink so take a refillable bottle with you when out and about.
Krakow has one of the highest concentrations of drinking establishments, both per square kilometre and per capita in the world.
It also has the cheapest beer in the world (hooray!) at around 5 zl /€1 a glass depending where you are. You can also buy single bottles of beer from bottle stores situated all throughout the city for half that amount!

A bar I stopped by for a refreshing beer one late afternoon

Some must-try foods I have to mention are:

1. Pierogies: Polish dumplings that can be stuffed with a variety of ingredients (meat, onions, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach etc.) and they are amazing! Buy a whole platter of them for a couple of Euros! I'm pretty sure I ate this for dinner every single night.



2. Zapiekanka: basically a Polish pizza- it's an open-faced baguette usually topped with sauteed mushrooms, grilled cheese and tomato sauce. You can pick them up for 8 zl / €2 so it's a cheap and quick option for lunch on the go!


3. Polish bakeries: I can't just pick one thing from the bakery because everything in there is delicious! Breads, sandwiches, sweets- the bakeries offer a great variety of well-priced goods. On every corner you can also find bagel stands (Obwarzanek) where you can buy a super cheap bagel for 1,50 zl / € 0,34.
Okay, there is one thing in particular I have to mention from a bakery- I don't know the name of it but it tasted like a cheesecake bun! I would go back to Krakow just to have one more of those!

Food of the gods

I did a Foods of Krakow tour and I absolutely loved it. It's one of the paid tours the free walking tour company I mentioned above offers- but you only pay for what you eat.
We got to soak up the history of Polish food and eating habits and try about twelve different things! I was so full afterwards! From herring and vodka shots to soups, pickles, pierogis and ice cream.
Afterwards the tour guide invited us all to join him for a beer at a popular and very cheap beer garden where we got full litres for €1, it was truly amazing.

For particular places to eat and drink at I still have my recommendations from the Polish girl I stayed with, so I have pasted them below:

A LOCAL'S GUIDE TO THE BEST & CHEAP PLACES FOR FOOD & DRINK:

Cheap vodka bars are located all around The Old Town and the Jewish Quarter. The most popular ones are those at SZCZEPANSKI SQUARE. They serve vodka & herring, vodka & pickled cucumber etc. Everything is one euro or 4 zloty. Some names I can recommend are: PIJALNIA WODKI I PIWA (Tomasza Street, Szewska Street, Plac Nowy @ Jewish Quarter), BANIALUKA (Szczepanski Square), PRZEKASKI (Slawkowska street), SLEDZ (Stolarska street), SLEDZ U FRYZJERA (Stolarska street), WODKA (Mikolajska Street).

CK BROWAR, @Teatr Bagatela tram stop /Karmelicka&Krupnicza street crossing) the place has its own brewery, they serve beer in the huge pipes (like 1m long).

ALCHEMIA BAR, Estery 5 @ Jewish Square for live concerts, drinks and light food. Cool and cozy atmosphere: international but also very Krakow in spirit.

PLAC NOWY @ Jewish Square for snack during drinking (popular long-tostie "zapiekanka" at ENDZIOR).

FORUM near Rondo Grunwaldzkie (big building by the river with big LATO neon) nice outdoor place, good music, very nice pizza, good/cheap drink. However, it's very hipster, so you need to like that sort of specific vibe to enjoy it.

ZAPIECEK, Sławkowska street for pierogi/dumplings, barszcz (beetroot soup) and zurek (sour soup) - traditional polish dishes.

MOA BURGER, Mikolajska Street great, huge burgers (I highly recommend the lamb one, it's beyond nice).

MARCHEWKA Z GROSZKIEM, Mostowa street. Very good and v e r y cheap food. A lot of traditional Polish dishes. This is a must go to place in Krakow if you want to have a taste of real polish cuisine and not spend all of your money.

U BABCI MALINY, Szpitalna street. Very nice and equally cheap polish food.

WINE BAR & RESTO, Lipowa 6F (real nice, open until around 23, good to connect with Schindler's Factory or Mocak tour, it's all very near by).

KLEPARZ FOOD & VEGETABLE MARKET, Rynek Kleparski 14. If you want to eat at home - Kleparz is the best source for fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as cheese, meat, eggs etc. It's not only cheap, but also a really interesting place to visit - loud, full of polish culture, polish grannies, polish cheese etc.

MASSOLIT, Smolensk, Felicjanek streets. Amazing cheesecake (Smolensk) and a great selection of American books - both vintage and new (Felicjanek).

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I hope you found this Krakow on a Budget Travel Guide helpful!
As I said earlier Krakow is one of my favourite places, the people are so friendly, the city is so old and beautiful and to top it off it's extremely budget friendly!
I really cannot wait for the day when I get to go back again.

Leave me a comment if you have any questions or more tips to add of your own- I'd love to read them.

Thanks for reading,

Barcelona on a Budget | Travel Guide


Barcelona is a beautiful laidback city sitting on the Mediterranean Coast.
Much of the cities architecture is famously designed by Antoni Gaudi and it is incredible to see in real life.
I was lucky enough to spend a week in Barcelona last Summer, I had been on a France and Spain Contiki tour that spent 3 nights there and that's where it ended.
I stayed on for a further 4 nights by myself and I had a brilliant time. I was into my final month of travelling around Europe so I was on a pretty tight budget, as I still had Greece, Italy and Germany yet to come on my big trip. You can read all about my solo travel trip here: Solo travel | My Experience & Thoughts.
This fabulous and fun Spanish city was a joy to explore and very easy to do so even on a budget. Here is my ultimate travel guide with top money-saving tips to help you get the most out of Barcelona.


TRANSPORT

From the airport:

From the airport there is a handy shuttle bus called Aerobus that picks up from both Terminal 1 and 2 and drives directly to the city centre, which takes around 35 minutes.
It runs every day of the year and departs every 5 minutes. It costs 5.90 .
This is the easiest and cheapest way to get both to and from the airport, as taxis would cost at least 30 €. It stops and picks up from three of the most strategic points in Barcelona. Here is their website for more details: www.aerobusbcn.com/en.

Around the city:

Barcelona can easily be explored on foot, but for those attractions a bit further away there is an underground metro which is easy to navigate.
A single ticket costs  so if you plan on venturing about for the whole day it might be better value to purchase a day ticket which gives you unlimited rides for 6.95 .
If you are in Barcelona for a while, the best deal would be to get a 10 ticket book which you can use over any number of days, which costs 9.25 .


FREE THINGS TO SEE & DO

Park Guell

The famous Park Guell is one of the most impressive public parks in the world.
Designed by Gaudi himself, it is full of beautiful gardens and showcases many of his major works in Barcelona. The architecture is amazing and there are nice walks you can take around the area.
However you do have to pay to enter the Monumental Zone. I didn't do this due to the three hour waiting time, and also I was rather impressed with everything I saw without having to pay! I spent a good hour and a half there walking around and enjoying the park which is very large.
If you do want to buy a ticket it costs 7  and I would recommend purchasing it in advance online to avoid the major lines and waiting time!





La Rambla

La Rambla is a famous street in Barcelona and one of the major city centre points.
Popular with tourists and locals alike, it is a great street to stroll along and browse the many stalls, pop-up markets and street performers. The tree-lined street stretches for 1.2 kilometres and on either side it is lined with many shops, bars and cafes.



Admire the architecture

There is an impressive amount of architecture in Barcelona practically everywhere you turn your head! Some notable buildings and places to check out include:

Barcelona Cathedral- located in the Gothic Quarter is the stunning Gothic Revival Roman Catholic church built from the 13th-15th centuries.



Casa Vicens was Gaudis first important building. Built between 1883 and 1888, this was an imaginative residential project made for a wealthy family that owned a ceramic factory.



Le Pedrera (or Casa Mila), is another modernist residential building designed by Gaudi. You can pay 20  to go inside, but if you're on a budget like me- you can just admire the architecture from the outside!



Casa Batllo is the result of an old conventional house built in 1877, restored by Gaudi in 1904. It was highly criticised by the public at first, but soon went on to win being one of the three best buildings of the year.



Torre Agbar is a 38 story bullet-shaped skyscraper and a new attraction in Barcelona. The tower represents a water fountain that constantly changes its appearance.
Depending on the light- the tower changes colours and is lit up brilliantly at night as well.



There are so many more dotted all around the city. I'm not sure of the name of the building below but it was across the road from a big mall quite close to La Rambla.


In the distance

The beach

The coastline stretches for 4.5 kilometres and offers a wide variety of excellent beaches.
Barceloneta is the closest beach to the city and you can walk there from the city centre in 20 minutes, or it is one stop away on the metro.
The beaches are a popular hot-spot in the warmer months and are well maintained and kitted out with sun beds and lifeguards. There are plenty of restaurants nearby and places that offer refreshments.

Walking the boardwalk on the way to the beach



La Monumental

One of Barcelona's newest attractions, this used to be the Old City Bull Ring. As of 2012 bull fighting was banned in Barcelona and the old stadium has since turned into a trendy shopping and lifestyle complex.
On the top floor you can find restaurants and an observation point with excellent 180 degree city views.




Montjuic Magic Fountain

Just up the road from La Monumental is the Montjuic Magic Fountain. This is a free show at night which is a spectacular display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics.
Times and days of the shows are dependent on the season. Check the website to find out when it is on: Magic Fountain website.
This is a must-see when you come to Barcelona and highly recommended. Try to get there earlier to get a good viewpoint- but don't stand too close or you'll definitely get wet!




Montjuic viewpoint

Close to the fountain is the hill Montjuic, which offers fantastic views over the city.
The hill features a large number of other attractions too including The Spanish Village, MNAC- one of the cities most important museums, the National Palace, gardens, a fortress and much more.
It's a bit of a hike to get to the top but the lookout points over Barcelona is worth it! Otherwise, you can pay to take a cable car to the top.



Free Walking Tour

A few companies offer free walking tours around Barcelona, but one that I myself went on- Sandemans is one I can fully recommend! The tour was fantastic- you get taken to many of the main attractions and highlights, and the guides are full of interesting facts, information and stories.
It's a fantastic way to start off in a new city as you get your bearings and learn where all the main landmarks are by walking. They offer help at the end of the tour if you have any questions at all, and do just ask to give a small donation for what you think the tour was worth- as it is their main job.
They also offer many other well-priced tours such as bike tours, Gaudi architecture tours, a tapas experience and so on. Here is the link to their website for more information.


ATTRACTIONS WORTH THE MONEY

La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona's most famous attraction! This is my number one most recommended thing to do here- it is an absolute spectacle and worth every penny to admire from the inside as well as out.
I have been to many cathedrals in my time- but this is without a doubt the most amazing one I have ever been to.
Although incomplete, the building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can learn all about the history, construction and Gaudi's visions inside.
A basic entry ticket costs 15  and it is highly recommended to book a time-slot online in advance.





Camp Nou

If you're a football fan then you would probably love to do a tour of Camp Nou- home to the world-famous FC Barcelona. 
The stadium is the largest in Europe and is one of the cities most popular tours.
Each year thousands of football fans from all around the world come to visit the grounds and football museum. Tours start from 24 €.



Hop on Hop off tour

Like many major cities Barcelona offers this bus tour which is a great way to see a lot more of the city than just by foot or underground metro.
It stops at all the major attractions and you can get on and off as you please. It also includes free wifi and an audio guide so you can learn all about the city while you ride.
You can purchase a 24 or 48 hour ticket and you can get discounts if you're a student.


 ACCOMMODATION

For budget friendly accommodation, hostels are a great option. For my first three nights in Barcelona I stayed at the Generator Hostel.
I highly recommend it- I'm pretty sure this is the best hostel I've ever stayed at.
The decor was modern and cool, it was in a great location, was clean and had great facilities.
Prices for a mixed dorm start at around 20  a night.
For my other 4 nights I booked a private room for myself at Residencia Universitaria.
I found the place on Trip Advisor and basically it's university residences that are available to book out over the Summer and other holidays. I chose here because it was well-priced and I got my own self-catered room. It was also just one street over from La Rambla, so it was very central and in perfect walking distance to everywhere.
The room was 32 € a night but worth it in my opinion to have my own room for a little bit since I had been sharing for the last two weeks and was about to again for another three!
AirBnB is always a great budget-friendly option as well to filter through places to stay in your price range and location wise.

Hostel fun at the Generator bar

FOOD & DRINK

Make use of the discount supermarket chains to save on eating out for every meal.
Carrefour Market Ramblas is a large supermarket I made frequent use of on La Rambla with everything you could need: groceries, products, fresh food, fruit, baked goods and there's even a stall making fresh paella at the entrance (which was delicious!).
I was all over the fruit and salads here as I had been eating out a lot prior.
A popular market I enjoyed going to on La Rambla was La Boqueria. If you've ever been to London's Borough Market- it's very similar to that! It offers different sections such as fresh seafood, meat, fruit, pastries, sweets, you name it.
It's also a hot-spot to come for lunch as there is plenty of delicious food made on site as well.

La Boqueria Market
Some must-try local food to have in Barcelona includes the famous paella- a delicious Spanish rice dish usually made with fresh seafood.


Tapas bars are all throughout Barcelona and a popular place to fill up on many tiny bites with a glass of wine.
Being on the coast, seafood in restaurants is abundant and good quality.
Churros can be found at street stalls and many restaurants and is a delicious dessert.
Of course trying sangria is mandatory and you can find this refreshing drink everywhere!
The local beer and wine here is also very good.


FINAL TIPS

Siesta Hours

Barcelona, like most places in Spain has very different business hours compared to the rest of the world. Many stores open from 10 am and close at 2 pm for a 'siesta' break.
Stores then re-open at 4:30 pm until 8:30 pm, with larger chain stores in the city often staying open until 10 pm.

Meal Times

You don't have to abide by the Spanish meal times, but if you would like to- it usually goes like this:
08:00+ Breakfast
11:00+ Morning snack
13:30+ Aperitivo
14:00+ Lunch
17:30+ Afternoon snack
20:30+ Drinks & Tapas
21:00+ Dinner
23:00+ Copas

Be Aware of pickpockets

Apparently Barcelona is the worst city in Europe for pick-pocketing so do be aware!
I never felt worried or unsafe but I did make sure to keep my bag secure at all times.
Try to choose a bag with hidden zippers or if you have a backpack, a small padlock might be a good idea. I had a bag that I strapped across my chest and I always kept one hand on the top when I could to stop any 'flap-lifting.'

Enjoy!

Barcelona is perfect for a coastal getaway and a good dose of Spanish! The locals are extremely friendly and English is widely spoken.
The shopping is fantastic, the nightlife is renowned- if that's your thing. The streets are beautiful and clean, the bathrooms are free, the food is delicious, the attractions and amazing architecture makes Barcelona so unique- all of this makes the city a wonderful place to visit and I'll definitely be back and look forward to it.



I hope this guide has been helpful! I have plenty more budget travel guides in-stall so stay tuned for those! As always feel free to comment your thoughts or if you have any questions or tips of your own you may have.

Thanks for reading ,

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Berlin on a Budget | Travel Guide


I absolutely love Berlin. The city has an infectious energetic vibe to it, full of rich history and a dark past from which the city has completely turned itself around and become, well, cool.
It's an eclectic melting pot of culture and creative talent.
The capital of Germany is a great city to explore and is very easy to do so on a budget.
Here is my travel guide with top money-saving tips to help you get the most out of Berlin without burning a hole in your pocket!


BERLIN WELCOME CARD

The Berlin Welcome Card is a great way to save money. Starting from 19.50 Euros for 48 hours, it comes with many great discounts on museums, tours, shopping and restaurants, it covers transport, includes heaps of maps, booklets and information about attractions and things to do in Berlin. For more information here is the website link.



TRANSPORT

Berlin has very good public transportation that is easy to navigate. 

From the airport:

From Schönefeld Airport follow the signs to the train station which you can catch directly to the city centre. You will need to get a full 3-zone (A, B and C) ticket which only costs 3 Euros (so make sure you already have some Euros on you).
You can purchase the ticket from an automated machine and then validate it at the small poles set up on the platform before you get onboard. 

Berlin runs on an honesty system on all of their public transport- but do make sure to always buy a ticket. It's not worth it to be caught without one- you will get a hefty fine, and they do check on occasion.

From Tegel Airport it is located closer to the centre and you can catch a TXL Express Bus or the Express Bus X9. These stop right outside of the airport terminal and cost 2.70  per ticket.

Using the train and bus system is fuss-free, easy and much cheaper than taking a taxi from the airport, which will cost around 50 Euros!

Around the city:

To get around the city you can buy day passes that covers the S-Bahn (overground subway), the U-Bahn (underground subway), the trams and buses
Berlin is a huge city (six times the size of Paris!) and so has three different tariff zones. 

Single and day tickets cover the first two A and B but if you are venturing out further than the central areas you will need to pay extra to go to C.
An unlimited day ticket for one person (Tageskarte) covering zones A and B costs 7 Euros.
A single ticket costs 2.70 € and is valid for 2 hours.

Hauptbahnhof - Central/Main Train Station

FREE MUSEUMS & GALLERIES

Just a quick note first that in the central district of Mitte is Museuminsel or 'Museum Island'. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the five museums here are well worth a visit if you have that in your budget.
If you have the Berlin Welcome card you can save 50% off the entry, otherwise it costs 18 Euros for a full day pass (9 for concession). It's not the cheapest but if you're interested in museums and history it will be well worth your money.
Otherwise- on to the free offers!

Some Berlin museums have free entry on certain days and times. Here is a link for more information: Free Museum Entry Info. Some permanent free entry museums include:

Holocaust Memorial

The haunting Holocaust Memorial commemorates the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The memorial consists of a giant field of 2711 sarcophagus-like concrete slabs varying in height on undulating ground. Underneath it is a small museum you can visit that provides information, photos and tributes to the lives lost.


Topography of Terror

Right where the most feared government institutions of Nazi Germany 
once stood, including the Gestapo headquarters- the Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) exhibit documents the chronology of Third Reich terror, while introducing all the main perpetrators. 
From Spring to Autumn read the free articles along the wall to zero in on how daily life changed for Berliners after the Nazi takeover.
For an even more in-depth experience you can take the self-guided tour around the chilling grounds, and there is also an exhibition inside filled with photos and information.




Berlin Wall Memorial

Germany’s central memorial to the victims of the Berlin Wall- the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial) stretches for 1.4 kilometres along Bernauer Strasse, along the actual course of the Wall. 
This is the best place to learn how all the elements of the hated barrier and the death strip fit together, how the border fortifications were enlarged and perfected over time, and what impact they had on the daily lives of people on both sides.





OTHER FREE ATTRACTIONS

Brandenburg Gate

Berlin’s most iconic landmark- Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) was built in 1791 as the royal city gate, but spent the Cold War years as a part of the Berlin Wall- and so became a symbol of the divided nation.
Crowned by an elaborate sculpture of the winged goddess of victory piloting a chariot, it now serves as an important symbol of German reunification.



Reichstag & Dome visit

The Reichstag is home to Germany’s parliament- the Bundestag. Book in advance and you can catch a free lift ride to its roof terrace which offers spectacular views over the city and close-ups of the modern glass dome atop of the historic building. 
Pick up a free audio guide and learn about the surrounding sights, the building and the workings of the parliament while peering up the dome’s spiralling ramp. The glass aims to create a sense of political transparency. 
You can even book for a guided tour through the parliament building - be sure to book well in advance for both by visiting their website. 


Reichstag building
A post shared by Krysti Jaims (@krystijaims) on

The view from the top!

Admire the architecture


The biggest landmark in Berlin is the Fernsehturm or the 'TV Tower' in Alexanderplatz.
It is the tallest structure in Germany and you can pay an entry fee to visit the top if you like, otherwise just marvel at it from below or from many points around the city- it is highly visible and a great landmark if you happen to lose what direction you are in!


Although you have to pay entry to go inside the museums on Museum Island- you can still stroll the island to take in the magnificent architecture of the buildings!




The Berliner Dom (cathedral) is jokingly known to the locals as the 'Eyesore of Berlin', nevertheless us tourists still think it's pretty grand! Also located on Museum Island, you can browse around inside for free and even visit the crypt below it.

Berliner Dom

The French Cathedral, Berlin Opera House, Victory Column and Charlottenburg Palace are a few of many examples of the great marvels of architecture worth seeing around Berlin.

Neue Kirche (left) and Konzerthaus (right)
Charlottenburg Palace
Berlin Victory Column

East Side Gallery

A colourful memorial to freedom- the East Side Gallery sits along the River Spree and is the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall. 
Not long after its fall in November 1989, more than 100 artists from all over the world turned it into an open-air gallery covered in declarations of peace and other often politically minded murals.
Walk along the 1.3-kilometre stretch and enjoy the 'artworks' that symbolise hope and friendship.





Free walking tour

A few companies offer free walking tours around Berlin, but one that I myself went on- Sandemans is one I can fully recommend. The tour was fantastic - you get taken to many of the main attractions and highlights, and the guides are full of interesting facts, information and stories.
It's a fantastic way to start off in a new city as you get your bearings and learn where all the main landmarks are by walking. They offer help at the end of the tour if you have any questions at all, and do just ask to give a small donation for what you think the tour was worth- as it is their main job.
They also offer many other well-priced tours such as specific history tours, beer tours, pub crawls and more.


Checkpoint Charlie

Although Checkpoint Charlie has mostly degenerated into a tourist trap, it’s still a place to visit if you want to check that off your list.
Once the principal gateway for foreigners and diplomats between the two Berlins, it was here where the world stood on the brink of WWIII when US and Soviet tanks faced off in 1961. A small, free outdoor exhibition chronicles the milestones in Cold War history.
You can even pay a small fee to have your photo taken with the guards that stand there if that tickles your fancy.


Fassbender & Rausch

A little tip for chocolate lovers: you simply must go into Fassbender & Rausch- the largest chocolate shop in the world! In between Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate it is one of those shops you dream about.
Just going in for a browse is a wondrous experience, there are giant chocolate sculptures galore inside- some even hanging from the ceiling! There are chocolate fountains and all of the different types of chocolates you could possibly imagine.
There is even a chocolate cafe upstairs which is heavenly. Fair warning: you may go in and end up spending all of your money like me...



Picnic in a park

In Summer Berliners flock to their favourite parks to tan, picnic and 'Grill' and knock back a few beers. The Tiergarten is a large central city park filled with plenty of open green spaces, paths, ponds and romantic corners.
For something unconventional head to Tempelhofer Park- a former airport turned public park. Grab a disposable BBQ at the supermarket and grill your bratwursts next to the former runway. 

Mauerpark in Prenzlauerberg is my favourite. Forged from the ‘death strip’ once dividing the two Berlins- it is a great hangout spot, especially on Sundays when there is a large flea market on.
It also offers plenty of great food choices and entertainment, and many people flock here to chill with friends, people-watch and enjoy their Sunday.


Mauerpark

ACCOMMODATION

For budget-friendly accommodation, hostels are a great option. Prices can range but you can get a clean bed for as little as 10 Euros a night, for example at Corner Hostel
Search for hostels that are centrally located and with a fully equipped kitchen which can be a big money saver for yourself. 
You can get a pretty decent hostel for 25 Euros a night for example at One80 Hostel. This has a great location with many facilities and social events on every night of the week.
Other popular hostels include Circus Hostel and East Seven Berlin.
I prefer using AirBnB myself, as I prefer sleeping in my own room! This is another great option for affordable accommodation and you can filter through criteria such as where you want to stay, what your budget is and what your preferences are.


FOOD & DRINK

Make use of the discount Supermarket chains Penny, Lidl, Aldi and Netto for groceries and products. Packing your own lunch and cooking occasional meals at your apartment or hostel is a great way to save money.

You can pick up some fruit, bread, cheese and salami for example for a picnic lunch and make your own sandwiches all for around 3 Euros.
Not to mention take advantage of the very cheap beer- you can pick up single 500 ml bottles for 0.70 
 each!

Don't miss out on trying the local German food though- it would truly be a crime!
Döner kebabs are very popular in Berlin and you can find them everywhere- it's a very filling meal option which you can pick up for only 4 Euros. 
The currywurst is famous in Berlin for a reason! It's a great idea for a cheap snack or get it with pommes frites (french fries) for a more filling meal.

Currywurst

Local bakeries are very inexpensive (and delicious!) and offer a wide range of freshly baked bread, pretzels, sandwiches, pastries and sweets for good prices (pick up a buttered or cheese pretzel for only 1).
Berlin has many Biergartens (beer gardens) to enjoy a drink at and most offer traditional big German meals for a reasonable price (I would recommend trying the schnitzel which usually comes with fries and an egg and trying the Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle) which usually comes with potato dumplings and sauerkraut- de-lish!).
You can also find many Beer Halls which have very cheap beer and you can even take in your own food and snacks with you to save money. You sit at picnic tables inside and they have a really fun and social atmosphere about them.


I hope you found this Berlin on a budget travel guide helpful! If you are interested in more cost of travel and budget guides to cities in Europe then stay tuned for plenty more coming in the near future.
Feel free to comment if you have any questions or more tips of your own, I'd love to read them.
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